From Getting Smart - "At last year’s Learning Forward Conference in Texas, Linda Hammond Darling (the respected Professor of Education at Stanford University and Director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future) was asked about the effectiveness of teacher professional development. She said that while she believes some districts are doing a great job and could just tweak it around the edges, about 90% of school districts need to think about starting over and redesigning their PD."
Adult learning inmultiple forms abounds in school districts. However, articulation of focused, coherent professional development is a rarity. A specified path for professional development and training for all employeesserves toclarifyexpectations, evaluations,and the allocation of resources. This requires a school district to clarify its aim as a system and align professional development so that it can have its greatest impact on improving student learning. A school district should organize itself sothat each employee has access to adult learning that affects his or her ability to perform so that every student learns and is able to graduate.
Continuous improvement is a familiar model, used in much school improvement planning. Killion and Roy‘s Backmapping Model for Planning Results-Based Professional Learning, shown below, complements school improvement planning. Killion and Royobserve that―School improvement plans identify student learning goals, while professional learning helps educators acquirethe knowledge and skills to help students meet those goals‖
The Managing Complex Change model puts language to that which makes some schools successful while others struggle. The model looks at five components necessary to create a desired environment. These include vision, skills, incentives, resources, action plan. If any one piece is missing the model indicates results schools will experience including change, confusion, anxiety, gradual change, frustration, and a false start.
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